South Carolina Football: National outlet names Gamecocks' top transfer players for 2024 season

This week, Athlon Sports' Steven Lassan picked his top transfer portal contributors for South Carolina football.

South Carolina football running back Rocket Sanders transferred in from Arkansas
South Carolina football running back Rocket Sanders transferred in from Arkansas / Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his staff elected to take a smaller high school group in this past year's recruiting class. It is still a talented group (rated 12th nationally in average player rating), but the lack of numbers dropped the Gamecocks' ranking just past 20th.

Instead, Beamer and company pulled in a large transfer portal class to fill the holes on the roster. Three running backs, three wide receivers, three offensive linemen, and three defensive linemen all helped flip rooms that struggled at times in 2023. The Gamecocks did not bring in a top-5 transfer portal player, but they brought in a lot of good players, pushing their portal class into the top-5 of some rankings.

According to Athlon Sports' Steven Lassan, two transfers stand out above the rest in terms of how they will impact this year's version of hte South Carolina football team.

On offense, Lassan believes the addition of Rocket Sanders (Arkansas) will be most important for the Gamecocks. Sanders, who led the SEC in rushing during his All-American 2022 season, missed a good chunk of 2023 with a knee injury and has been out some of this offseason with a shoulder ailment. If he is 100% healthy and back to his old self this fall, Sanders will be a transformative presence in the backfield as USC looks to improve drastically from the program's worst-ever rushing statistics posted last season.

On the defensive side of the ball, defensive end Kyle Kennard (Georgia Tech) was Lassan's selection. The Gamecocks only tallied 21 sacks last season, and only 7.5 of them came from the EDGE position. That's a comically low number for a program that had players like Jadeveon Clowney, DJ Wonnum JJ Enagbare, and Devin Taylor terrorize quarterbacks not that long ago. Kennard's athleticism should allow him to be an impactful player in garnet and black, especially against the pass.

Other transfer portal players with chances for big rules with the Gamecocks this fall include wide receivers Jared Brown (Coastal Carolina) and Gage Larvadain (Miami (OH)), tight end Brady Hunt (Ball State), offensive lineman Torricelli Simpkins (North Carolina Central), defensive tackle Deandre Jules (Pittsburgh), EDGE Gilber Edmond (Florida State), and linebackers Demetrius Knight (Charlotte) and Bangally Kamara (Pittsburgh).

Quarterback Robby Ashford (Auburn) and running backs Oscar Adaway (North Texas) and Jawarn Howell (South Carolina State) could be involved in the Gamecock rushing attack, and wide receiver Ahmari Huggins-Bruce (Louisville), offensive lineman Kamaar Bell (Florida Atlantic), and defensive lineman Monkell Goodwine (Alabama) are all fighting for realistic snaps, as well.

It is also important to notice that the transfer portal opens again on April 15th, meaning that more players could transfer in or out of the South Carolina football program before all is said and done.

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